Skip to main content
9:00 am
funding for to the contrary provided by... additional funding provided by... >> this week on to the contrary... first, an international spotlight opportunity women and girls. then mothers donate wombs. yes, wombs. to their daughters. behind the headlines. is it really the end of men?
9:01 am
>> hello i'm bonnie erbe welcome to the contrary a discussion of news and social trends from diverse perspectives. up first, protecting women's rights. as world leaders gather for the 67th session of the united nations general assembly look for jeanter equality and women's participation in politics and the global economy to shine on the agenda. u.n. women headed by former chilean president, michelle bachelet will ask member nations to improve women's access to justice, especially in conflict and post conflict zones. secretary of state hillary clinton will join the equal
9:02 am
futures partnership to set goals for williams empowerment worldwide. the u.n. will also launch the first ever international day of the girl next month. that to highlight how girls' equity is key to global prosperity and stability. the u.n. meeting highlights an explosion of interest by governments and ngo's in girls and women's empowerment and well-being. so patricia is the international community finally taking women's empowerment seriously? >> absolutely i think so with the leadership of secretary clinton and leaders by the former president of chilean president, michelle bachelet, i'm confident they will start making a difference. >> i think we have come a long way having susan rice as our ambassador and hillary clinton but we have a long way to go but this is a good start. >> the investments are being made and we are working toward it is but there is a big gap. a gender lens has to be applied
9:03 am
to every program not just women-specific initiatives. >> the international community maybe attention that could trickle down but will matter is what happens in communities on the ground. >> exactly you've worked on government u.s.a. id contracts what is going to happen? there are all the commitments let's go to equality, equal inheritance laws, equal rights. help in war zones. to stop crimes against women. which i think is a difficult one. it is in a war zone after all. but post-war zones. how much of this is going to get done? really around the world? >> the investments are being made. right now what is happening is there's been a huge movement to get the laws passed to have the structures in place, the constitutions. we know 139 countries have constitutional law to support equality of women. but it is ate enforcement of those laws that is a problem. >> it's great to have investments but who is going to
9:04 am
be there to police that it gets to the women even our own country. we have certain laws that help that supposed to create a level playing field but we are still having challenges internationale sure that those types of laws and investments are enfored? >> patricia you travel in central and south america what are you seeing? >> big differences in terms of women's rights. in costa rica it is a female president and they have a quota. >> and brazil and argentina. >> and an example of a strategy that they pursue in order to increase the number of women in politics that have worked in brazil and certainly it is a very important leader and argentina we have a specific example. we use the antidiscrimination treaty against discrimination of women. and there was a shadow report about argentina and the south of argentina we use it to bring attention to the targeting of women by the tobacco industry
9:05 am
and we use the treaty to change the law and we were effective. there are real things can you do. >> one of the problems when the debate is at the international level is there is a demand for money. the problem is the money will end up going to the hierarchy, the higher ups and that money doesn't help the people on the ground. so one thing always have to be careful is not just continually be saying the demand the goal is more money. >> also, i want to ask you because you work for a catholic organization and lobby the united nations we have a panel of experts here. but do you -- if the main problem is it goes to the hierarchy and not to the poor people on the ground, how do you change that? >> well, recognizing the change will come through attitudes. and so that can be done. not just through laws need to be passed in certain countries like inheritance laws and property rights. >> antisex trafficking.
9:06 am
>> yes,. >> global human bonding. >> and insuring there is enforcement not just passing the laws but criminal enforcement of the laws. but there are other things that can be done that should be done in the community not necessarily through government. it's done through churches. it's done through ngo's. so we need to recognize that not all the work needs to be done by government. we should look to the communities because especially because in many of the countries they are not countries that have the individualistic mindset that we have they are countries -- >> this is what we are seeing through the state department through u.s.a. id. the funds are being filtered into the middle east countries and areas with huge transition and the money is going to train and arm these ngo's and organizations on the ground to work within the communities. what we do see is it is a far more effective channel than us going in as americans and telling us here is how you should implement. >> and gauge to make sure that
9:07 am
it is going to the proper places. is we have a reporting process that we did this here and this is what the change that we saw. >> many do and again from as the united states perspective it's different but in the countries my experience is in america, is a really pay attention to this international treaties and they pay attention to and they use them to -- and it is not inconsequential. this is what i want to clarify it's not because the u.n. police those countries but the advocates in the countries use the treaty. >> are there any question is that women in the -- women in costa rica are on equal footing with women in the united states in terms of equal rights? >> yes. i mean in terms of the laws of the country? yes. i would say they are ahead of the united states. because they have more representation in the legislature and now they have a woman president.
9:08 am
>> we are ranked 81 in the world for representation in parliament and. they have quotas. >> they have quotas and there's other issues. but no means are we in a place to preach equal representation with 17% of women being in our congress. >> absolutely. >> and yet, hillary clinton particularly has been an incredible leader on this issue. she is part of the initiative that is coming up in october to for international day of the girl. how much of this do you attribute to her? >> a lot of it to her. she is a warrior even though i am on the right, i respect hillary clinton because she gets the job done. and i think again partnering with susan rice and other women in the administration we will see a lot of changes. >> do you think the u.n. has been effective in terms of bringing the plight of women to world platform?
9:09 am
>> i think there is a place as far as getting the media to pay attention. they will write articles if something is being discussed at the u.n.. but again it comes to what is happening on the ground and being sensitive to the communities. again not coming out with a colon alice particular at constitute that we are going to tell you what you need to change and respecting the people and respecting their beliefs. and not --. >> it has to be collaborative where you do have that mutual respect and i don't think the word lecturing. i think we are being respectful. >> but money comes with strings, too. >> absolutely. >> nobody gives money without wanting to monitor what is done and make sure it's used for the purpose that it was given. >> and that is the question whether the money gets used that way. report after report money that goes to the u.n. is oftentimes squandered, wasted there is abuse, there's the corruption within the u.n. system is mind boggling. >> and i think some does go to
9:10 am
good. we have corruption --. >> it depends on the program. food, refugee programs some of the undp who is now we are finding out providing computers to north korea, not a good idea. >> all right. let us know what you think about this. follow me on twitter@bonnie erbe or@to the contrary. from gender equality to swapping wombs. two swedish women have undergone surgery to implant their mother's uteruses in the first mother-to-daughter womb transplants. neither of the women had uteruses. one had hers removed after cervical cancer. the other was born without them. the groundbreaking surgery is expected to enable these women to carry babies to term. the results of the surgeries are positive so far. though doctors say successful pregnancies are the true measure of successful surgeries. your thoughts on this angela?
9:11 am
you go first. >> as a person who is a late bloomer thinking about having a child and i've had several friends in my industry, i think his is wonderful. that you can have a womb transplant or a uterus transplant. how do i feel about it in the more we can do and the later we can carry children i'm happy about that. >> does everybody, agree? >> well, actually being a woman who has gone through fertility treatment and lived in this world we know this is a growing problem. i don't know if it is a different problem than it was before but we are talking about it more. we know that 6.7 million women in the united states alone deal with fertility issues. and this particular process the nyu doctors are not sure they will not perform this because they are not sure about the safety of t. >> anymore? isn't this the first time. >> they were trying but there is not proof that it's going to work. i think -- >> but i did hear and i am
9:12 am
opposed to animal experiments but i did hear that it worked in mice, rats, pigs, i forget what else and primates. >> they are expecting that it will. >> it is amazing. the risk involved and that is one of the things we don't know about this fertility is what is the risk to the children and the risk to the mother? and that is the unknown but it is remarkable to see what women will do for other women to have children. and it is the most beautiful miracle there is out there. >> if we can transplant a heart or half after a lung or liver why can't we do this? is it because it's for women? it's -- >> i don't think they do transplants of male sexual organs. but go ahead. >> first of all it hasn't they did the transplant but they have not had the pregnancy. which is what is going to determine if it is a success or not. and you know, you are playing with babies. that's there are ethical issues
9:13 am
it's about fertility and choices and i appreciate what angela is saying. i have two children who are invitro. i loved the experience and had to change hospitals because my catholic hospital would not do the invitro. so i am all for choices but there are serious ethical issues here. >> and one that has not been discussed yet is once you create a demand for something you create a market of the and it's not going to be just the mother giving a woorm to the daughter it will be to the the highest bidder or dangerously, women in third world countries desperate for $wipe00 and the same thing that has happened with kidney transplants. i believe in organ transplant. i am a kidney donor to a young man from africa that i did not know. but i believe in the very strong boundaries moral boundaries that are put on that community the organ donor community. so that is i serious problem that we need to look at.
9:14 am
>> with anything dealing with organ transplants or what have you, you can find a darker side if this is something that does not i amed peed upon a children's life where if i want to give my womb to my sister to have a child i don't see a problem in that. >> and going forward. >> wait a second. let me raise a quevment is this going -- is health insurance going to pay for this? meaning my rates are going to go up because you want a womb transplant? >> even with invitro, you have to pay in certain places out of pocket. because it is experimental and it can be expensive. no, i don't think if it's my choice i don't think you should have to pay for it. >> and there's proof that in terms of insurance if invitro was covered by insurance it would save us healthcare dollars because what happens is when we are paying out of pocket $20,000 for an ivf transfer and you take greater risk. you take two, three embryos and
9:15 am
it is a high rate of twins. twins have higher complication rates longer hospitalization for the babies and the mothers higher risk to the mothers and it's costing us more in the long run than insurance companies covering it. >> experimental as this process is and it's not proven as something that i want to do i believe i should be responsible for that. but dealing with invitro if it is a higher risk of having twins yes, maybe we should. >> well, for example plastic surgery which is generally not covered unless it is for breast removal or breast rebuilding that sort of thing from cancer, but or eyelids or older people but generally speaking most is private. if womb swapping becomes big business should it be covered? >> it's not kidney transplant is very different. having a baby is important and you know if you have the you can
9:16 am
adopt there are other options. so i see a future in which insurance will pay for this. >> and i think the accessibility to adoption to fertility services is a real issue because you know, we were fortunate enough we adopted a baby girl and we have been able to adoption the itself is an expensive process for families. making that more accessible, making families to be able to become family as forwardable is something we need to look at in our country. >> and this is before congress where they give tax credits to people who adopt children of color. >> and we hope they carry over the adoption credits. >> with that behind the headlines. the end of men? journalist hanna rosin argues it just might be in her new book. i sat down with her to find out are women doing better than men? >> the argument is that women are having an easier time adapting to the changes in the economy. they seem to be able to get the
9:17 am
credential and the degrees they need to take advantage of certain job opportunities. and that is affect so much about the way we live and what our marriages look like, intimate relationships how reraise our children how our workplaces look like. >> women are making progress despite the lack of support for working moms in the workplace. >> we don't have a workforce that takes that into account. maternity leave being the example. you have so many women working working anything from minimum wage to elite jobs yet we operate like it's 1962. we have an economic reality and a domestic reality but not a workplace reality that matches that economic reality. >> for men, a change in cultural norms may help. >> it seems like the obvious solution would be if the genders could swap and men could do more domestic work but it doesn't work that way. our natures do not move at the
9:18 am
same speeds and again i don't know why. but there is some resistance which is a lot of what i read about women have a flexibility in the last few years in terms of taking over professions that were once male and operating in the public sphere in the way we associated with men. >> as the mother of two sons and a daughter she hopes the rise of women will foster equality for both genders. >> i have a daughter and two sons and i think a lot about what does this mean for them. how is the world different. for my daughter, i wish for her to straightforwardly be able to ask for whatever she need notice workplace and not pay a huge penalty for that. in terms of stereotypes and what with women are allowed to do. non-the case of my son, if my son were dating or about to marry a woman who made more money than he did and he was going to stay home, i would hope that there is no self consciousness about that at all.
9:19 am
>> marjorie does the rise of women have to mean the end of men? >> i sure hope not because we do need them. i did see the title as problematic because what we know in the women's movement is that the conversation has to be about men and women. it's about parity not about the elimination of a sex. and i think young women especially today talk a lot about i don't want to be called a feminist that excludes men because we like men. no question. we are dealing with a monumental cultural shift happening right now. women are in the workplace but the workplace has not caught up with us. we have huge, huge disparity in pay gap in what women get paid instead of men in the same job and women are bearing the bulk of household duties 83% of childcare and homecare is still done by women. >> what i loved about the interview is what she wants to do with her son. if her son dates and he dates a lady that happens to make more it is ok.
9:20 am
because a lot of times in the relationships where you do have a woman who is a power woman and makes more you have problems with the other guy. now, in essence, a marriage from my standpoint, a true partnership is a partnership. so what is wrong with the man doing the household chores or cooking or taking the kids. >> nothing. >> it is a good segue it's not the end of men it is the end of men as we know them. the end of men as a traditional bread winner. i think it is a lousy title i agree with you. but -- >> wait a second. if you have women doing as marjorie said 83% of the work at home, how adapting are men? and i must tell you i have always thought since second rate feminism whatever it was in the 60s, sin owes, i was thinking all men from there on out would grow up to do half the housework
9:21 am
and women would have careers and they would be able to work it out. it hasn't changed much. >> certainly the numbers show it. i have to say that i personally have experienced you know my brothers, my partner, you know, he is helpful. so i have personally experienced men that are willing to collaborate but the numbers are showing that men are instrumentalling with struggling with t and i have not read the book i have read reviews is really that men are not being flexible enough to adapt not only in terms of household work, the work the skills that they need. the degrees they need to start going more to college they are not going not enough men are going to college. >> my husband we have a big age gap and his mom made homemade bread and his mother when they came home from school she was there with cookies and that is not angela. i don't cook. and it was we decided to make it work. however he has a different point of view on what women are supposed to do. so i think, too, it's up to the mommies to teach their sons it
9:22 am
is ok. >> but you do bring up a good point it's up to the couples to decide how they want to divide up the labor. it's not up to us to say you should be divide to go half and half and then we'll have parity and peace on earth. one thing women do not want is femmenized men and that is a big problem with the generation now they are experiencing men who are not men. men who act like women metro sexuals and that is not making women happy, either. >> but i think that that was entertaining. [laughter] i think one of the things that is happening and this is sort of anecdotal in the past four years a lot of law firms who are struggling how do we get women into the partner level, and just because -- >> because law firm work is 100 hours a week. >> now, just in the past four years you have seen a lot of the
9:23 am
husbands choosing to stay home. and i have a couple of sons who are stay at home dads. on their side of the coin there is a cultural shift that has to happen. while families decide it helps when society accepts a stay at home dad that has when the spouse support program in a law firm caters to men it's not just ladies luncheons and ladies events. there is an overall shift needed to pave the way. >> wait a second. what about let's get to the work side of this. because what is happening is the factory jobs some of the technical jobs although there's demand for electricians and plumbers but some of the engineering jobs going overseas, where and the growth is in healthcare predominantly women and education predominantly women. are men adjusting to changing economic times? >> some men are. and more men are going into the nursing procession. and your 0 society is saying we
9:24 am
don't need men. that's a dangerous step to go toward. we need men and we need men who will be men. let them be men. >> they need to be men that get skills for jobs for the economy has to offer. we are not seeing. we are seeing 60% of bachelor degrees are by women. >> 68% now. >> where are the guys? 70% of the population clearly there is a large percentage of men that are not going to college. >> and you brought up the economy and you have couples where the wife is the only one working. and the man has to stay at home and be mr. mom. and i know, men should be men but when you have desperate situations sometimes the men have to put on the apron to help the wife. >> and i agree. and one of the problems is because there's been too much attention in law and policies to give preferences to women.
9:25 am
encouraging through scholarships and now the colleges are facing the problem of men not wanting to apply because they would be in the minority. so then fewer -- >> off to the club we go. >> but actually if i could give an anecdote where this can go. i was in nairobi a couple years ago and we were warned flying in that the high crime rate. our first walk -- >> we are out of time. can you continue over credits. that is it for this edition of to the contrary. follow me on twitter@bonnie erbe and to the contrary check out our website. where the discussion continues. and whether you agree or think to the contrary, please join us next time. so you were saying?
9:26 am
9:27 am
9:28 am
9:29 am

To the Contrary With Bonnie Erbe
WHUT September 27, 2012 9:00am-9:30am EDT

News/Business. (2012) United Nations General Assembly focuses on women; swapping wombs. New. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY U.n. 8, Us 7, Clinton 4, Costa Rica 2, Bonnie Erbe 2, Susan Rice 2, Michelle Bachelet 2, Marjorie 2, Brazil 2, Angela 2, United States 2, Nyu 1, Twins 1, Argentina 1, Mr. Mom 1, Bonnie 1, Patricia You 1, Hanna Rosin 1, America 1, United States Perspective 1
Network WHUT
Duration 00:30:00
Scanned in Annapolis, MD, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 78 (549 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 528
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color